…continued10 Top Telescope Questions
This used to be an easier question to answer. My old advice was: use a refractor for sharp images of the Moon, planets, and double stars, and use a big reflector to hunt down dim, distant deep-sky objects.
Today, there are more kinds of scopes and the distinctions between them have blurred a bit. Refractors are getting larger (though they’re not cheap), while some of the best views of Saturn and Jupiter I’ve ever had were through newer, high-quality reflectors. And compound telescopes use both mirrors and lenses.
So these days I suggest that it’s important to match the scope with your budget and what you plan to observe most of the time. But that old adage is still generally true: good refractors are still hard to beat when viewing the Moon and planets, and if you want to search for dim objects, then a large reflector is still the best choice.